TechPowered By

More tech

First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 1, 2011

Date published:
September 01, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Bettini involved in ultralight aircraft accident

    Italian manager Paolo Bettini before the start of the race
    Article published:
    August 31, 2011, 14:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian coach reports only mild injury after emergency landing

    Italian national team coach Paolo Bettini has emerged safely from an ultralight aircraft accident off the coast of Tuscany on Wednesday morning.

    According to, Bettini and a friend were forced to make an emergency landing at sea after losing control of the aircraft near Piombino, in the province of Livorno.

    The splashdown occurred around two miles from the coast, and Bettini and his companion then began swimming towards land, before being aided by a fishing vessel, which alerted the coastguard. A patrol boat was then dispatched to bring the pair ashore, where they were transferred to hospital.

    Bettini is understood to have sustained a light lesion to his leg in the incident.


  • Wiggins ready to defend Vuelta lead all the way to Madrid

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) assumes the overall lead.
    Article published:
    August 31, 2011, 18:53 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Team Sky leader praises Froome after taking the red jersey

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) enjoyed the emotions of pulling on the Vuelta a Espana red race leader’s jersey atop the Montaña Manzaneda on Wednesday, less than eight weeks after thinking his season was in tatters after crashing hard and fracturing his collarbone during stage seven of the Tour de France.

    Yet the Briton never lost his focus and motivation and now leads the Vuelta by seven seconds from teammate Chris Froome, with main rival and 2010 Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) third at 11 seconds.

    "I didn't really expect to be in this position, coming here off such a bad crash," Wiggins said in the press conference after pulling on the red jersey.

    “It’s a fantastic feeling to be leading the Vuelta. I just enjoyed today. I’m pleased. I’ve been very consistent in the last few days. I’ve been very strong in the last two mountain stages and the time trial. As I was coming back from an injury, I didn’t know how it was gonna be but it’s getting better and better.”

    Sticking to the team plan

    After Chris Froome took the red jersey after the time trial, there was a question about who Team Sky would ride for and if a double leadership strategy would tire the team. Wiggins made it clear he was the team leader with his strong ride on the 19km climb up to Estación de Montaña Manzaneda and explained the team’s strategy.

    “For me to take the jersey after Chris Froome was always going to happen,” he said. “We put the whole team on the front. Had I been fifth or sixth on GC, we would have done it the same way. We stuck to the plan after the time trial. Chris had a brilliant time trial and that put him in the...

  • Cipollini backs Viviani for Italian world championships team

    Elia Viviani takes the win on stage 4 for Liquigas-Cannondale
    Article published:
    August 31, 2011, 21:15 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    2002 world champion questions Bennati role as team leader

    Mario Cipollini has called on Italian national coach Paolo Bettini to select Elia Viviani of Liquigas-Cannondale for the world road race championships after his back to back stage wins at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    Viviani won the sprints in Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge and then led-out teammate Daniel Oss before finishing second in Denver on the last day of the race.

    The 22-year-old from Verona is an accomplished track rider, finishing second in the Scratch event at this year's world championships, but has won six races on the road this year.

    Cipollini, the world road race champion in Zolder, Belgium in 2002, pointed out that expected Italian team leader Daniele Bennati has yet to earn a special protected status in the nine-rider squadra and advised Bettini to select a more aggressive team, packed with fast finishers like Viviani.

    “Bennati hasn’t offered any guarantees [of his ability to win] yet and he’s never really won long races or proved his ability. I’m against trying to control the race. Of course everything could change on the last two laps and Bennati could have a chance but I’d select Viviani, Modolo, Oss, Visconti, Ponzi and Gatto, with the idea of them getting into the breaks,” Cipollini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “Viviani showed how strong and fast he is, especially during his second win. He impressed me. However it’s also early to say he’s a good alternative to Bennati. On the slightly rising finish in Copenhagen, it's vital how the sprint is led-out. A lead-out train has to keep the speed high even as the road rises, otherwise the other riders will come over the top of you. In that sense, Viviani ahead of Bennati could be...

  • O'Grady showing impressive pre-Worlds form at the Vuelta

    Stuart O'Grady (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 2:07 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Australian feeding off team momentum after team time trial victory

    Stuart O'Grady (Leopard-Trek) showed in the Vuelta's 11th stage to Estación de Montaña Manzaneda that neither age, nor season fatigue is slowing the Australian down. The 38-year-old finished in the same group as a number of more noted climbers including former Vuelta winner Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC), and former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre.

    Impressively, his finish came after an active day from O'Grady that saw him ride in the day's morning break before rejoining the main field to help team leader Jakob Fuglsang up the day's final climb. Speaking at the end of the stage O'Grady was happy with his form after what has been a long season.

    "It’s been a really good surprise. It’s been a long season for everyone, and I think we’re all feeling it," he said. "To be this strong at this point is encouraging."

    "We knew it was better for us to be in the breakaway, so I managed to get into the move when the opportunity arose. I felt really good."

    O'Grady added that felt that his form was helped by the momentum the team had created for itself with it's opening day victory in the stage 1 team time trial.

    "Standing on the podium as a team is something amazing. It has created a fantastic atmosphere within the team," O'Grady continued. "I see the way the guys are feeding off of one another. Everyone is super motivated with the results we have had, it’s infecting the staff, too. It’s a good mood and a good atmosphere at the moment. Now we just need to continue the momentum."

    The Vuelta may well be the Australian's last race in Leopard-Trek colours, though O'Grady says that depending on how he feels, he may try to...

  • McEwen and Beppu to GreenEdge

    Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) wins stage four at the Tour de Wallonie.
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 6:12 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Australian to only ride half season before moving to staff role

    Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) and Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack) are the latest additions to the GreenEdge cycling project, with a team spokesman announcing the signings at the official launch for the upcoming Goulburn-Sydney Cycle Classic.

    A three-time winner of the coveted Maillot Vert, as well as taking 12 stage victories at both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, McEwen is among the most well-known and respected cyclists in Australia. At 39 years of age, McEwen may be now in the twilight of his riding career, but the experience and leadership he brings to the team is invaluable. According to GreenEdge, the Australian will only ride a selected early season program, before he will join the staff as one of the team's 'tactical advisors'.

    "My role is to ride for the first half of the season, to give me the opportunity to start my position from within the group, a bit like being a captain-coach on the field in football," McEwen said.

    "On the road you can see a lot more and are likely to have a bigger impact on the younger guys and you can lead by example.

    "After that I’ll move into a role, around the time of the Tour de France, to be a tactical advisor. It’s a similar role to the one Erik Zabel has been doing for the past few years at HTC-Highroad, scouting the finishes and informing the guys of what’s coming up and what I think might be the best way to tackle it.

    "It takes a pretty keen eye and a lot of experience to be able to give the right information to the riders and they need to be able to trust your judgement 100 per cent.

    "If I’m going to send them into a blind corner full gas then they have to be able to trust my judgement when I say that. It’s a role I’m really looking forward to getting into."

    GreenEdge spokesperson John Trevorrow...

  • Vos to lead Dutch women in Worlds

    Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) will start on Sunday in the World Cup leader's jersey
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 10:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Former world champion to ride both road race and time trial

    Former World Champion Marianne Vos will lead the Netherlands womens team in the World Championships later this month in Copenhagen. Vos won the road title in 2006, and has finished second in the race every year since then.

    Vos, 24, has dominated women's racing this year, with 27 victories. They include the Ronde van Drenthe, La Fleche Wallonne Feminine, GP Elsy Jacobs and the Giro d'Italia Femminale, a well as the Dutch and World cyclo-cross titles. On the track, she also holds the Worlds scratch race title.

    At the road race, she will be supported by Annemiek van Vleuten, Kirsten Wild, Martine Bras, Loes Gunnewijk, Lucinda Brand and Chantal Blaak.

    Vos will also ride the time trial, along with Ellen van Dijk.

    The men's team has not yet been announced, but it will not include Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank), who is suffering from a knee injury, national coach Leo van Vleit tweeted this week.

    Netherlands womens' team for the World Championships:

    Elite womens' road race: Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vleuten, Kirsten Wild, Martine Bras, Loes Gunnewijk, Lucinda Brand, Chantal Blaak.

    Elite womens' time trial: Marianne Vos, Ellen van Dijk

    Junior womens' road race: Thalita de Johng, Anouska Koster, Rebecca Talen, Kelly Markus

    Junior womens' time trial: Thalita de Jong, Pauliena Rooijakkers

  • Moncoutié aims at fourth consecutive king of the mountains title

    David Moncoutie (Cofidis) had earmarked the day's stage before the Vuelta.
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 10:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman set to remain in peloton in 2012

    After taking his fourth Vuelta a España stage victory in as many years, David Moncoutié (Cofidis) is now focused on taking a fourth consecutive king of the mountains title in the race.

    The 36-year-old jumped clear of his breakaway companions on the final ascent to Estación de Montaña Manzaneda to take stage victory and to move within touching distance of the Matteo Montaguti’s lead in the mountains classification.

    “Part of the contract is already fulfilled, now I just have to take the climber’s jersey,” Moncoutié told L’Équipe. “I’m only a point behind Montaguti, but nothing is simple. I know that there are still three finishes at altitude and that the favourites will undoubtedly fight it out at the front. I’ll need to pick up the maximum amount of points when the occasion presents itself.”

    Coming on the back of the rest day and with Sky controlling affairs in the peloton, Moncoutié sensed beforehand that Wednesday’s stage might offer fertile ground for a lengthy breakaway.

    “This stage was one of the ones that I had ticked off, and the scenario played out perfectly,” he said. “I had imagined that Sky would let a break go, and as the route included three cols before the final climb, I didn’t hesitate to put myself forward as soon as the first break was formed.”

    Following a disappointing Tour de France, where a second place finish in Lourdes was the high-water mark, Moncoutié was publicly considering retirement. His form since, and particularly his showing at the Vuelta to date, appears to have swayed his opinion.

    “I have good feeling with this race. I feel perfectly well and...

  • Martin confirmed to Omega Pharma-Quick Step

    Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) on the podium
    Article published:
    September 01, 2011, 10:38 BST
    Cycling News

    German time trial specialist signs three-year contract

    Tony Martin and Quick Step have confirmed that the German will ride for the new Omega Pharma-Quick Step team as of 2012, as Cyclingnews reported earlier. Martin, 26, won the individual time trial at the Vuelta a Espana earlier this week by nearly a minute and is considered a favourite for the title at the upcoming world championships.

    "I'm pleased to be riding with such a prestigious team,” said Martin, who signed a three-year contract. “Thanks to team Highroad, I had a wonderful experience and I grew professionally on one of the best teams in the world.

    “Now it's time for me to take the next step in my career, as I'm aiming to meet new prestigious objectives. I'm still young and on this team there are all the prerequisites to open an important cycle and assume a major role on the front lines.”

    Team manager Patrick Lefevere was equally pleased. “We're happy with the agreement we reached. Martin is a highly valuable athlete, a world class cyclist who currently holds 12th place in the WorldTour rankings. His arrival will allow us to face time trial tests with new ambition; and considering his fantastic athletic potential, he'll also have more to give in other areas. He'll also be someone who all the young riders on our team can look up to.”

    Quick Step have also been linked with Levi Leipheimer in recent days, but the team gave no confirmation of a report in Het Nieuwsblad that the American had signed a contract with the squad for next season. Leipheimer, who just won the USA Pro...